In legend, Theseus’ father was considered either the son of the god Poseidon or King Aegeus of Athens. His mother was Aethra, daughter of Pittheus, the king of Troezen, whom Aegeus seduced. Theseus spent his childhood at Troezen in the northeast of the Peloponnese as Aegeus had warned Aethra not to tell her son who his real father was until he came of age, perhaps explaining why Theseus was considered the son of Poseidon in his youth. When a young adult, the hero gathered up gifts of sandals and a sword from his father which had been buried under a heavy rock for when he was old enough to lift it. With these tokens Theseus set off for Athens to claim, as Aegeus’ only son, his inheritance, the kingdom of Athens. Before he could reach the city, though, he first had to battle various villains and monsters.
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